By Jason Beale, Abbott’s Mill Nature Center Manager
As the days shorten and leaf fall continues, birdwatchers begin to focus in on the legions of returning waterfowl and wintering raptors that fill the marshes and fields of the Delmarva Peninsula. Few destinations are as unique and productive than Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, near Cambridge, Maryland. Along with legions of Ducks, Geese, and Swans, the refuge hosts a tremendous number of wintering Bald Eagles – more than any other site on the East Coast, north of Florida. But wait, there’s more! Each year a few Golden Eagles find the vast, open habitats suitable for making a living during the winter. In and around the forest, another distinct species keeps busy – the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel. This large, grizzled-gray squirrel only makes it home on the peninsula in scattered patches of open forest.
Once again, Delaware Nature Society is offering a trip to Blackwater on Wednesday, December 7th. Groups will depart from both Abbott’s Mill Nature Center in Milford and the DuPont Environmental Education Center in Wilmington. Both groups will depart from their respective sites at 7:30am and return around 4:30pm.
We’ll stop briefly at the visitor’s center before beginning our tour. We’ll then travel the wildlife drive auto tour, with periodic stops and short hikes in wooded areas. After a short lunch, we’ll tour the refuge perimeter and open marshes that fringe the Chesapeake Bay area. Time permitting, we’ll venture to the Cambridge waterfront to look for Canvasback, Redhead, and other bay ducks that winter in the area.
Blackwater Wildlife Tour
Wednesday, December 7th
Abbott’s Mill Nature Center: 7:30am-4:30pm
DuPont Environmental Education Center: 7:30am-4:30pm
To register, contact Fiona Smith at (302) 239-2334 x. 134. Dress for the weather and bring a bag lunch.